#JRPGJuly – Final Wrap-Up
We have come to the end of another year of everyone’s favorite monthly gameathon. #JRPGJuly was created as a community game-along by Anne Lee @ Chic Pixel, and once again the RPGamer team is showing their support for the event by playing some JRPGs. Here’s how week four went for the RPGamer staff!
This year there were over 200 participants in #JRPGJuly playing 132 different games — what an incredible turnout! Also a huge thank you this year to Nitro who has taken over the community game-alongs!
#JRPGJuly is always one of my favourite events during the year and I am always sad when it comes to a close. The last week wasn’t as eventful as I would have liked with Dragon Quest III. A lot of the week was spent grinding, then beating up some bandits who stole the King’s crown, and then becoming Queen for the day. Long live Queen Bum III (who is actually Queen Bum II)!
— Sam Wachter (@merrygodown) July 31, 2020
I am hoping since there are five months left to continue to make a big dent in my RPG backlog, and if anything I played two games this month that I quite enjoyed. I am not ready for the emotional rollercoaster of Trails of Cold Steel II yet, but make sure to follow me on Twitter when I do boot the game up, because there are going be some epic feels.
My gaming time was seriously limited last week, so I didn’t manage to finish Chrono Trigger as I had hoped. I have really enjoyed my time with it and while Chrono doesn’t immediately jump to the top of my favorite games list, I certainly understand now why it’s such a revered classic. Oh, and Ayla is just the best:
— Joshua Carpenter (@jscarpe) August 2, 2020
It’s been a great #JRPGJuly! I spent the beginning of the month sinking time into an eight-year-old MMORPG and finished the month with a twenty-year-old one! Looking to expand my JRPG universe, the last couple weeks have been spent with Mega Man Battle Network for the GBA. I’d heard great things about this series and, being on a retro kick, I have sunk nearly 20 hours into it the past few weeks.
— Plattym3 (@plattym3) August 1, 2020
I’ve had a lot of fun with this game, despite not being a fan of tactical RPGs at all. The battle system is fun and addictive, which is great because the biggest annoyance I have with the game are the horrible pseudo-3D mazes and puzzles you have to solve in them all while random encounters keep happening. This may keep me from continuing with the series, but I’m glad I spent time with this classic RPG.
Anna Marie Privitere
I folded up Paper Mario: The Origami King this week, plowing many enjoyable hours into the game before writing my review. While I didn’t find every last secret the game had to divulge, I’ve squeezed tons of enjoyment out of it and was ready to move on.
— Anna Marie Privitere (@amprivitere) July 28, 2020
I chose to wrap up #JRPGJuly with Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers, which was loaned to me by fellow RPG Cast host Kelley Ryan. I’d held off picking up the game because I wasn’t sure if I’d like it and was hoping to score it for a lower cost in case I didn’t. I’m glad I did borrow it, because while I enjoyed the game, it’s not an especially great game, but instead harmlessly average. The story’s fine, though the localization has some issues; the combat’s fine, though a bit repetitive; the length is fine, clocking in at around 18 hours, which is fine as the game would have worn out its welcome had it been any longer. If you’re looking for a simple RPG, there’s worse…but there’s also better.
— Anna Marie Privitere (@amprivitere) July 31, 2020
I spent my last #JRPGJuly week failing to finish anything but making good progress in both Paper Mario The Origami King and Dragon Quest XI. In Dragon Quest XI I entered a fighting tournament to try and finally obtain the elusive Rainbough the party has been chasing, and met the next two members of the party — I know this because they are on the cover of the game. In Origami King, I knocked off another streamer by finishing the theme park area Shogun Land, and experienced perhaps the single saddest moment I’ve ever seen in a Mario game. Overall, both games are an absolute blast and I look forward to playing them more in the coming months.
— Mike (@AskWheels) July 30, 2020
— Mike (@AskWheels) July 29, 2020
— Mike (@AskWheels) July 29, 2020
I’m back! I didn’t think after beating Xenoblade and Radiant Historia that I would have another RPG completed this month, but I surprised myself and muscled through newly released Fairy Tail from start to finish and even beat the epilogue chapter to boot! The game was a totally fun experience, though I did wish the ending would let me beat the bad guy we were chasing all game long. There are tons of personalities to enjoy, and lots of additional characters to recruit, each with unique moves and elemental affinities so there are tons of customizations. This is definitely a good game for fans of the series wanting an RPG recap of the show, but also a good RPG for newcomers.
That concludes #JRPGJuly for me. I was able to beat three games this month which was a nice surprise. All were good games in their own right, and I had a ton of fun playing them.
July has been an interesting month for me, and ironically that fact has little to do with video games. I got laid off, felt a surge of inspiration to get outside, be active, and eat better, and have been in the throes of blossoming affection with a longtime friend. If the rest of my year has revolved around JRPGs, July has been a welcome break and a healthy shake-up to my daily routine that I plan on continuing into August.
In terms of the games I chose to play, Lost Sphear and The Legend of Legacy are both perfectly good fun from what I played. But no matter how good it feels to unlock new abilities in Lost Sphear or get a random stat boost in The Legend of Legacy, few things are as rewarding as setting goals for yourself and “grinding” to achieve them. My love for the genre has hardly waned, however. Video games like Persona 5 Royal and Final Fantasy VII Remake helped keep me sane in the early stages of pandemic life, and JRPGs will always be there to help remind me how good it feels to level up, both behind the screen and in the real world. Happy #JRPGJuly, ya’ll.
Continuing on the Falcom train, since I finished Trails in the Sky FC, this week was dedicated to The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC. Continuing on about a month after the end of FC, it follows our newly-minted senior bracer Estelle Bright in her search for her adoptive brother Joshua, as well as investigating and foiling the machinations of the mysterious Society of Ouroboros. The gameplay’s pretty much the same as the first game, with a couple of additions like Chain Attacks and some new spells and quartz (the items used to give you stats and spells). Just like the first game, it takes a while to really get rolling, especially since your progression resets (outside of levels), but once it goes, it goes HARD.
— shannon h. (@LilMayRose_) July 31, 2020
Where Second Chapter shines is in the writing. While the writing in FC was fantastic, SC takes it to a whole other level. The interactions between characters, both good guys and bad, were absolutely incredible, not to mention that it’s not just the main cast that gets love from it. There are minor characters that get a ton of great development. Add onto that probably the best handling of trauma I’ve seen in a video game outside of Hellblade, and you get a story that is both riveting and incredibly emotional. It is absolutely one of my favorite games at this point, even with the weak beginning on the gameplay side. It’s on to Trails in the Sky the 3rd now! This JRPG-beating train doesn’t stop with the month!
#JRPGJuly is over and of course, I didn’t finish Tales of the Abyss. I’ve clocked 39 hours thus far and everyone is level 40 or higher. Taking a cursory glance at a walkthrough seems to indicate that I’m a little more than halfway through the game and found out that the Outer Lands may be in worse trouble than I imagined. A lot is going on in the story, but many major questions are still unanswered. What is a certain antagonist’s ultimate goal? (I assume it’s more complicated than “destroy the world,” although that’s a part of it.) He’s seemingly working against Grand Maestro Mohs, a villain who wants to ensure that the Score (destiny, more-or-less) is fulfilled, but is he really? What is Asch up to? I imagine they’ll be answered in due time, but the plot is certainly holding my attention. I find the game world’s allusions to Kabbalah to be very interesting. I’m so used to the heavy references to Norse mythology in Symphonia and Phantasia that it should have occurred to me it wouldn’t be a recurring theme in the series. I’ve seen very few games that make allusions to Kabbalah, so this makes for an interesting change of pace. Most of the time, the names of places come from the Tree of Life (St. Binah, the Malkuth Empire, Grand Chokmah), and that’s about as deep as it gets.
— Cassandra Ramos (@BerryEggs) July 31, 2020
There’s not much more for me to say about the gameplay, except that I’m enjoying the battles. The box/barrel pushing puzzles in some of the warehouses I’ve come across are kind of fun. I am very much unimpressed with the music outside of the opening theme song “Karma.” This was when Motoi Sakuraba composed music for about one-third of all JRPGs. His music was incredibly samey, although there are two other composers on this soundtrack. Maybe I’ll come across some more impressive pieces later. It will take me at least another month to finish this game, and it will be a while before I can really compare it to the few Tales games I have played. Even so, I am quite enjoying my time with Tales of the Abyss and will continue to do so in the immediate future.
— Cassandra Ramos (@BerryEggs) August 1, 2020
I didn’t get around to playing Ys: The Oath in Felghana as much as I wanted to, so I don’t have much to show for this week. I’ve gotten through the Abandoned Mines and am now on my way to the Elderm Mountains to meet with Dogi and his old master and don’t really have much to add as everything I said in last week’s update is still true. The combat’s still fast-paced and enjoyable and I still haven’t encountered a boss that wasn’t at least fairly challenging. On the other hand, I can see why Shannon was frustrated with the platforming though I don’t take as much issue with it as she does. Who knew action RPGs could be so good?!
I regrettably didn’t get around to even starting up .hack//GU Last Recode but considering how stressful the month turned out for me, that’s probably for the best. Overall, my #JRPGJuly was pretty alright.
Yeah Futaba, that’s not nice.
— Zach Welhouse (@ZachRPG) August 1, 2020
That’s all for #JRPGJuly this year. We hope you enjoyed reading about our quests through JRPGs this month and share your experiences in the comments.